With winter finally at bay, daffodils are popping up to greet the sun. Hemlines are getting higher, shorts are replacing long pants, and tank tops and t-shirts are taking the place of sweaters and jackets. As we get ready for the fun-filled days of spring and summer, we need to be mindful of the fact that though the sun provides us with much-needed warmth and energy, it also can put us at risk for skin cancer. During the spring and summer seasons, be sure to properly protect yourself against the potentially harmful effects of the sun by using sun protection.
Damage caused by exposure to the sun
Without taking the proper precautions, ultraviolet radiation from the sun and from tanning beds can cause significant damage to your skin. Damages to the skin can include photoaging, skin cancer, and sunburns.
Sunburns are the most obvious forms of skin damage caused by the sun, and most of us have had a sunburn at some point in our lives. The more sunburns you’ve experienced in life, the more your skin cancer risk rises. For this reason alone, using proper, daily sun protection is essential.
With or without sunburns, exposure to the sun can speed up visible signs of aging. This can include the development of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, leathery and dry texture, and “age” or “liver” spots which are forms of hyperpigmentation. The signs of aging caused by exposure to the sun without adequate protection are not harmful in and of themselves, but no one wants to look older than they actually are. Regular use of sunscreen will help ward off premature aging of the skin.
The most devastating potential effect of ultraviolet radiation on the skin is skin cancer. There are several different types of skin cancer, some of which are extremely dangerous -- but taking proper steps toward protecting yourself will help reduce your risk.
Steps you can take to protect your health
There are a number of ways to protect your skin and overall health from sun damage. The number one step in protecting yourself is to apply sunscreen products liberally to your skin. Look for products that offer broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
If you are planning on being active in the sun, make sure that your sun protection is also water-resistant. You will also want to match your sun protection to your activity level. For everyday use, look for products labeled as “daily use.” Daily-use products include makeup with SPF protection added, lip balms, and sunscreen lotions and sprays. For prolonged periods of sun exposure or when engaging in physical activities, look for products with higher SPF ratings, labeled as “active use.”
Whether you need active or daily-use products, be sure that you apply your sun protection at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Ideally, you should schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., since ultraviolet radiation from the sun is strongest during these hours.
Although fashions that show off a bit more skin on warm, sunny days may be fun, long-sleeved tops, long pants, and long skirts will offer your skin the best protection from the sun. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat will also protect your skin, and UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses will help protect your eyes, which are also very vulnerable to sun damage.
How Monarch helps protect your skin
At Monarch, we have several skincare options available to meet not only your everyday skincare needs, but products that also offer sun protection. We are particularly excited to offer Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen, which was featured in the March issue of Women’s Health magazine. Editor-in-Chief, Michele Promaulayko, recommends Colorescience as a brand that is key to her “youth-preserving secrets”. You can learn more about Colorescience’s Sunforgettable line at Monarch’s Colorescience event featuring make-up artist Michael McCarthy on April 23rd and 24th. Monarch offers Colorescience Sunforgettable Face Primers in SPF 20, available for bronzing, brightening, and balancing, as well as Colorescience Sunforgettable Setting Mist.
Monarch also offers these fantastic sun protection products:
- Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
- Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
- SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense SPF 30
- SkinMedica Environment Defense SPF 50
- Vivier Daily SPF 30
To learn more about our Colorescience event on April 23rd and 24th or to find out more about your sun care options, call Monarch Skin Rejuvenation Center today at 913-317-9386.